🙂 If you are interested in seeing some Missouri-based homesteading that’s years more ahead of us, check out Doug and Stacy’s homestead. I hope this article just provides the inspiration to get folks out of the useless non-native grass-growing business. If the soil is too dry, it can fade away or die. Chamaemelum nobile is a creeping variety that is lawn-suitable. Secondly, make sure there is plenty of water during the first few weeks of growing. Required fields are marked *. Planting grass in rocky soil presents a number of challenges. Depending on your opinion, you can thank or gripe at Abraham Levitt for embedding a green, weedless carpet of turf into the white picket-fence psyche of the past six decades or so. Your article made so much sense.Part of our family are from around Springfield, MO; are you or others among your country friends open to have people visit for a few hours to see how you homestead? But I can start some plants in a few areas and hope for the best. If you want to grow plants in caliche soil, it’s easier than you think. It can grow 5 feet tall or taller and about 5 feet wide, even if you prune it during its growing season, which is spring and summer in the western United States. So much of our version of homesteading is inspired by looking at the modes handed to us–like grass lawns, for example–and trying to choose to follow the good design found in creation that often seems to run counter to convention! Monkey grass is a group of grass-like flowering plants in the genus Liriope and family Asparagaceae.This low, grass-like plant grows in clumps or as a creeping plant. The great thing about container gardening is the containers can always be brought to a more secure area during winter time or adverse conditions. Check through this list of native plants that tolerate acid soils (go for wild ginger and wintergreen for some bonus edible treats). Plants will prevent erosion and suck up some of the excess moisture from the drain field. Purple fountain grass can almost be a year-round performer if you treat it right. I’d also recommend contacting folks at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/rocky_flats/ ) to see what native grasses and plants are indigenous to your area and best adapted to grow well (the xeric tallgrass prairie native plants that they preserve there may be just what you’re looking for!). A common kind of grass is used to cover the ground in a lawn and other places. It is also easy to grow and both plants are fully hardy. A great way to grow these grasses is in a container. All your pampas grass needs to thrive, is a sunny growing site, with fertile soil. Dig up young plants from established seagrass meadows and plant them in the new location. How to Grow Centipede Grass. Bamboo naturally grows in warm climates, but you can also find cold-hardy varieties, such as Bisetti (hardy to zone 4), Nuda (hardy to zone 4), Giant Leaf (hardy to zone 5), and Spectabilis (hardy to zone 5). The first is that it is a little less durable than a grass lawn, but this can be easily remedied by planting grass and clover together. As I’m sure you could figure, it’s impossible to list every perfect plant in the world for every zone–I hope people can use this article as inspiration to find what’s best for their land. How to plant bulbs in grass. Do not reuse soil from … Turf grass is the most widely-grown “crop” in the United States, but it’s time for lawns (as we know them) to go. The mature size of this grass is fairly predictable—usually 2 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. We may have inherited a legacy of carefully nursing non-native grasses into a bizarre, artificial carpet of featureless green, but we don’t need to accept that as our lawn-fate. Most grow in zones 3 to 9 and reach between six and 18 inches tall. Then, invite your neighbors over to see how lovely plants-other-than-grass are and see if they’ll change their nosy tune! Yes, … It likes partial to full sun and moist, well-drained soil. They are tough and can handle being stepped on. In an age without lawn mowers and gasoline, the only way to keep the turf trim was by employing scores of subservient, scythe-wielding serfs (say that five times fast) to do what amounted to pretty pointless work. Ornamental Grass is a no-fuss addition to any perennial garden. What a delightful comment, Tammy! I live in PNW with rainy winters and hot sun from July through September. An issue with ground ivy, as it is also known, is keeping its invasive nature contained. In order to get a chamomile lawn established, you’ll need to remove the grass. Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens') grows to only about 8 inches high but is a spreader, making it an ideal ground cover. It creates nitrogen, enriching the soil and helping other plants grow stronger. (https://www.youtube.com/user/growinginfaithfarm) They’re a wonderful off-grid couple currently working on making a homestead resource center for those interested in learning more! Websites like Grow Native can help you rediscover what your land once grew. Most of my plant knowledge comes from my gardening and naturalist experience east of the Mississippi, so I can’t give personal recommendations for plants that I know. They reduce weeds growing through openings. At Growers Exchange we grow farm-fresh, natural, non-GMO herb plants and specialize in culinary, medicinal, aromatic, and rare herbs. The best way to grow grass fast is to plant the best grass seed for your climate and follow the necessary steps. Blue eyed grass is not really a grass at all. If there is too much shade, the lawn will grow sparsely. Like fountain grass, New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) has become increasingly popular in residential and commercial applications. The very definition of ground cover from a landscaping perspective is a low-growing, low-maintenance, perennial, spreading plant that keeps the ground from being bare. Every time my dad mowed, the aroma was delightful. Monkey grass has long, slender, pointed green leaves and purple or white flowers.This spreading, clumping plant also produces purple or black berry-like … When you plant in late spring and early summer, the soil is warm enough and it can retain moisture for ideal warm-seed germination. This is how my parents handled their lawn. Actually, some fescues are grown as lawns, such as the clumping red fescue. Maintaining a traditional lawn is a lot of work. Grass is a monocotyledon plant, herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. It’s bound to impress the neighbors. I would think it would be suitable / growable in other areas on the mainland with similar climates. How Energy Efficient is Induction Cooking? Sometimes the problem is bare spots where grass stubbornly refuses to grow. The grasses include the "grass", of the family Poaceae (also called Gramineae), as well as the sedges and the rushes (). Red clover while edible and medicinal, grows to be feet taller than the comfortable strolling-height of its more diminutive cousin. Even if you just do a small patch at a time, it will get the process started. PlantFiles: Plants reported to grow well around miles of Grass Valley, ca. Camomile seeds prolifically and pops up all over in unintended places. Botanical name: Nassella tenuissima or Stipa tenuissima. I am 75 and really cant do much planting. You can use a blender to make a moss slurry to propagate them (or to use as green graffiti — but that’s a whole different topic). Thanks so much for such a nice comment. Moving from pure grass lawns to wildflower lawns requires an initial effort, as you dig up all or some of the lawn and plant the seeds of flowering lawn weeds, but after that, your work is done. You can grow lemongrass from seed, but we do not recommend this method unless you’re a farmer looking to grow acres of lemongrass plants for minimal cost. I am wondering if you have a specific ground cover recommendation for this type of soil ? Part 1 of 3: Preparing to Plant Check out this list and see if one suits your needs– https://xeraplants.com/plant-type/ground-cover/. With starry, compound leaves and delicate white flowers, it can fill that bare patch with grace. Choose cool-season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue if you live in a cooler area of the country like the North, Midwest and Pacific … Container grow red fountain grass. Through dormant seeding, grass seed can be planted in November when the weather is cold enough to keep it dormant until the weather warms up in the spring. There’s absolutely no chance of eradicating clover, but if you’re intending to plant an entirely native patch on your land, be aware that clover does spread and isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. An even faster but more expensive option is to lay down sod, which is grass that’s already grown. Related Post: 6 Reasons Why I Chose Clover as a Living Mulch. Change is slow. It grows best in damp, rich soil and likes moisture during the hottest months. Many people spend a lot of effort trying to poison it out of their lawns as a weed. But as much as I hate the wastefulness of lawns, I know that old habits die hard, and bucking convention can be difficult when you’re doing it alone in your community. It’s low growing with purple and green foliage, medicinally useful, pleasantly-flowered with little purple blooms, and able to flourish in the shade. I know, the name makes you feel like there’s a mustachioed man secretively staring at you from a fifteen-passenger van, but this pretty ground cover deserves a better reputation. As discussed earlier, this is due to differences in how the plants grow. They are hardy through zones 5 to 8, though growers in zone 5 may find that thyme won’t survive the winter as perennials. Hey there, Lynn! Some types are evergreen in zones 5 and above. The Best Time to Plant Grass. Keeping up with the Joneses and their perfect patch of fescue has become the middle-class attempt to pretend to be the old fancy lords (that they probably don’t even realize they are emulating). The added nitrogen also means that the lawn remains green, even in dry weather. They’ll back up each other and give you a surface that will take the worst of what your kids and dogs can throw at it. Dieffenbachia, Spider Plant, Pathos, English Ivy, Wandering Jew, Tradescantia / Purple Heart, Sanseveiria / Snake plant, ZZ plant, and Monstera deliciosa are some of the easiest houseplants to grow in water.. 12 best kitchen scraps to regrow! It’s truly a shame because this “weed” does just great as a lawn in its own right. Though large, oak trees (Quercus spp.) Believe it or not, moss does well on clayey soil–some species like rock moss and burned ground moss/purple moss actually do really well in full sun, dry conditions, too. Upload a photo / attachment to this comment (PNG, JPG, GIF - 6 MB Max File Size):  (Allowed file types: jpg, gif, png, maximum file size: 6MB. White clover is super low-maintenance, fantastic for pollinators, thrives in drought, doesn’t grow tall, smells amazing, and won’t need to be watered or fertilized. The world of plants that fit the ground cover bill is diverse and fascinating, and some are specialists where grass falls short. This citrus-flavored grass overwinters well in a dormant state in a cool, dark spot indoors, or you can grow it as an indoor herb through winter in colder zones. We too live in the PNW, Willamette Valley, zone 8b I believe. If not, that is certainly understandable. 1. Red Cedar Tree Cut the grass back to 1 to 2-feet in length until you can see the base of the plant. It’s where we get the term “launde” which is an Old English word meaning glade or barren area. These soft-to-walk-on carpets require no mowing and can even tolerate some foot traffic. The grass in my backyard is longer than a grass skirt. Hi! Grass normally gets water from the roots, which are located in the ground. Back then, there was at least some strategic advantage. Plants reported to grow well and around Grass Valley, ca. Pampas grass is also known by its botanical name – Cortaderia selloana. And I’m totally in agreement with planting natives, as you hopefully read with my last point. At that time of year, the ground is still warm enough for quick germination, and the young grass plants have the entire upcoming cool season to become established. It’s crucial that you … Given these growing requirements, it’s important to choose drought-tolerant plants. The second downside is that it’s considered invasive in the United States. And we raise lots of native insects for the birds to feed their young. Be sure the soil is a bit airy, too. It also tends to get taller, reaching a height of 5 feet or more, and about 4 feet wide. In a garden, it looks striking next to lime green and silver grasses and plants such as oat grass or sweet potato vine. Purple Fountain Grass. Ornamental grasses typically have either a spreading habit or a clumping habit. While some grass plants require eight hours-plus of full sun a day during the growing season, others are fine at handling limited light. There are two main varieties of grass seed: cool-season and warm-season. Yes, it’s that same oregano that makes your pizza sauce sing! Blue oat grass likes full sun and weekly water. No need to bar kids from being kids outside, though. Though any type of oregano will do, try creeping oregano O. vulgare ‘Humile’ for a low-growing, mat-forming variety. You may buy monkey grass in a container at the garden center. Pink muhly grass is also known as sweetgrass, gulf muhlygrass, mist grass, hairawn muhly, and the botanical name, Muhlenbergia capillaris. It's inexpensive, grows easily in poor soil, and requires very little maintenance! of Sheffield) had a similar idea. What are your recommendations? Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum rubrum) is a dramatic ornamental grown as a perennial in zones 9 to 11 and an annual in other zones. Finally, to help the grass seed take quicker and grow stronger, faster amend your … Paulo Valdivieso / Flickr (Creative Commons), How to Build a Raised Bed with Grass Sod Walls, Aris Papachristou / Flickr (Creative Commons), 5 Perennial Herbs for Fresh Garden Flavor All Year Long, NY State IPM Program at Cornell University / Flick (Creative Commons), 6 Reasons Why I Chose Clover as a Living Mulch, Leonora (Ellie) Enking / Flickr (Creative Commons), Shade Plants: 15 Garden Greats To Grow In Full Or Partial Shade, 5 Compelling Reasons to Turn Your Lawn Into a Meadow, https://www.youtube.com/user/growinginfaithfarm, https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Gardening/diggin-it/2011/0822/Soil-solarization-A-chemical-free-way-to-get-rid-of-weeds-and-unwanted-grass, https://xeraplants.com/plant-type/ground-cover/, Blue Green Box Helps Turn Your Aquarium into a Hydroponic Fish Farm (w/ video), Buying Local vs. Fair Trade [Infographic], Raising Mealworms: 7 Easy Steps To Raise Mealworms At Home. Around the same time James Hitchmough (now at the Uni. Before you start applying the grass seed to those bare patches, make sure you do your research on what grass seed grows best in your garden. Examine the stems of the grass at the soil level. Chamomile releases the scent of apple and daisies with every footfall, and if you live in zones 4 to 9, you could easily grow that beauty to cover your yard. Generally, they need acid soils, compact earth, shade, and enough moisture to keep them from drying out and turning brown. Thyme is drought-tolerant, often used in the sizzling heat of full-sun rock gardens, and available in a huge array of scents, leaf patterns, and bloom colors. Mexican feather grass is even grown on green roofs. The term “citronella plant” can refer to two different types of plants: citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) and a scented geranium variously known as citrosa or mosquito plant (Pelargonium citrosum).Citronella grass is an inedible grass related to lemongrass.It is the main source of citronella oil, an essential oil used as a non-toxic insect repellent. When choosing a plant, look for short plants that won’t obstruct the path or walkway and that can grow … I also would recommend contacting a nature center like the Hoyt Arboretum to get their recommendations on native plants that want to grow in your lawn anyway. Name: Andropogon gerardii. You can also use an ornamental grass in a container garden, as part of the thriller, filler, spiller theory. #shadeplants #easytogrowshadeplants #shadegarden Preparing Your Planting Area Choose the right time of year. tend to be tall when grown in the open, allowing plenty of filtered or indirect sunlight to reach the ground below. Thanks for your comment, Anna–it’s good to have the tip on Minnesota-specific growing conditions. We woodchipped the last patch of lawn after our dog rototilled it and now don’t mow and never add pesticides, we water rarely. Warm-season grass should be sown when the soil temperature is in the 65°F to 70°F (18°c to 21°c) range. He was a key part of pioneering the image of suburban conformity that we still uphold. If you want to plant wildflowers on your lawn, experts suggest that you plant the seed on top of your existing grass. Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') has become an extremely popular landscaping plant in both residential and commercial settings. Maybe a slope too steep and eroding to support turf? Test Your Soil (Optional) Fortunately, you can get beautiful results without a soil … In addition to blue fescue, other popular ornamental fescues include atlas fescue (Festuca mairei), California fescue (Festuca californica), and sheep fescue (Festuca ovina). Plant name: Location: Tall Bearded Iris 'Makin' Music' Iris : Grass Valley, ca 0 miles: Spice Bush, Spicebush, Western Sweet Shrub, California Allspice To add more confusion, turf fescues are classified as tall fescues, the seeds of which were brought to the United States from Europe in the early 19th century. Kathleen Miller is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist with over 30 years experience in gardening and sustainable farming. The huge, elegant pampas grass makes a statement in the garden, but can you grow pampas grass in pots? With ground cover plants, you can easily knock out the dreaded chore of mowing the grass. It is especially beautiful in fall container arrangements and autumn gardens. Related Post: Shade Plants: 15 Garden Greats To Grow In Full Or Partial Shade. Related Post: 5 Compelling Reasons to Turn Your Lawn Into a Meadow. It grows beautifully in zones 3 to 10 in full sun or partial shade, and it isn’t picky about soil quality. But in the world of ornamental grasses, fescues are considered low-growers and are often used as edgings, borders, and ground covers. The grass is great for rock gardens with succulents, native landscaping, borders, and mass plantings. These days that perfectly-trimmed, bright green stripe of grass is visual mainstay and source of pride in residential America. While it will tolerate light shade, this is a grass that should be grown in full sunlight. If you want to restore your land to a healthy, biodiverse zone of totally native plants, however, you’ll need to take out the old and bring in the new. Fakahatchee Grass or Tripsacum dactyloides grow well in the Florida climate and can often be found growing wild in wetland areas, including swamps, riverbanks, and hammocks.. Grass seed germinates and grows best in dirt that is loose and not compacted. These areas exhibit a mind-blowing diversity of plant life, as their conditions for thriving of the floral species are quite favorable. Reasons Why Grass Won't Grow. You certainly couldn’t brag about your monetary accumulations as the lords did — the animal manure was the dead giveaway — but there was probably no denying the pleasure of strolling unimpeded across a gently rolling hill. These grasses can get over ten feet (3 m.) tall, which means you need plenty of room for these monstrous, yet amazing plants. There are some plants, however, that can thrive in that environment, particularly if your pines and spruces are open enough to let some light hit the ground. These low-growing plants spread easily in even the toughest sites, providing thick coverage that will eventually benefit the soil beneath. Clover was once considered a weed in the grass, but it’s surprisingly beneficial as a lawn plant. If you can, try to harvest them from your own lawn (they’re probably there) and use that as your base. Steps to growing red fountain grass in a container. That’s a great suggestion for growers in zone 10! Once spring arrives, the seeds will sprout and grow … They also grow very fast and tolerate artificial light. Ornamental grass growing tips. The seeds are at the very tips of the featherlike "blades," which wave in the gentlest of winds. Plants that work best spread quickly, stay close to the ground and are resilient. How to Grow Liriope Grow all types of liriope in full sun to partial shade, and in moist, well-drained soil. Ground cover plants certainly need not be limited to grass. Also called monkey grass (though there’s a totally different family of plants that also shares the common name) and lilyturf, this easy-care perennial is a fantastic choice for borders and those awkward areas of ground between sidewalks and the road, or around trees. The acid soil produced by their dropped needles is not always welcoming for growth. Despite its beauty, some regions consider it invasive. I’d love to replace the lawn with lower maintenance low water option. However, it is not a problem if your garden is mostly shaded you can purchase and sow hedgerow and woodland plants or seeds that will tolerate shady areas. The birds will poop out some local seeds, the wind will carry in others, and eventually, you’ll start seeing more variety than boring old grass. Even letting weeds grow there would be preferable to leaving the ground bare. How Do You Grow Grass Fast? Alternatively, let them swish and sway through a herbaceous border, where they act as a subtle backdrop for more ostentatious perennials. For more information and motivation to convert at least part of your yard into a beautiful meadow, check out this article. Regular maintenance is a key factor in healthy, growing grass. or Phyllostachys sp.) Our yard is native woodland plants under trees and prairie in sun, with a few raised bed vegetable plots. Even if you’re clear-eyed enough to see how unnecessary a dumb carpet of grass is to the quality of life, your nosy neighbors or homeowner’s association (HOA) are usually not sympathetic to your views. While grass seems to be everywhere, it’s not exactly the easiest ground cover to keep healthy. Furthermore, it will grow best in well-drained soils. They can’t tolerate competition very well. Plant ‘Silver Dragon’ as a silvery highlight mixed with other spreading ground covers like mondo grass. Cut back ornamental grasses in the spring before new growth exist. Thanks for your question. Chamomile loves both full and dappled sun and requires very little mowing which results in a dense green cover dazzled with starry white blossoms. You will need to research what local, native plants could live in your area. It can be drought-tolerant after it is established. True grasses such as those you grow in your lawn belong to the Poaceae family, whereas this plant belongs to the iris family. Possessing a similar deep-red, purplish- bronze color, New Zealand flax's leaves are more broad or strap-like than the finer fountain grass. Stepping on the soil could make it difficult for grass seed to take. If there is too much shade, the lawn will grow sparsely. Which means it is potentially invasive. Even though I grew up with a clover lawn and love it, we’re in a neighborhood and I expect our neighbors wouldn’t be too happy at the introduction of clover or other “invasive” plants.The less mowing the better. It is also called cogon grass. Individual plants protect others against pests by emitting a strong odor (that will either deter pests directly or invite beneficial predators into the garden area). And all those weeds and grass seeds sprouting take valuable energy from your vegetable plants! There are two downsides that I see to clover. So happy to find your article! Varieties with fine flowers and seed heads should have plain backgrounds to show off their blooms. Fill the tray with a 1 1/2-inch layer of fresh potting soil. We always joked that their yard was barely one-third grass with all the lovely wildflowers they allowed. Your email address will not be published. Zones: 4-9. Don’t harvest mosses from the wild. It is striking in containers or as a color accent in borders, especially with darker green plants or those with purple flowers. It may take a bit longer to get established, but once it does, it should be hassle-free. Daffodils, crocus and snowdrops add a beautiful splash of colour to grassy areas in spring. 😉, Thanks so much for the website Wren; we’ll check it out. It’s pretty hard to have your army sneak up on an enemy stronghold when it’s surrounded by acres of carefully-trimmed plants rather than a forest. How low does blue fescue (Festuca glauca) grow? At least one-third of our drinkable water isn’t used to grow food, water livestock, or give thirsty people a drink. Blue Fescue. If you want to plant grass directly you can do this by planting sprigs. Bamboo grows upright and spreads quickly (sometimes too much), and it requires a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) comes from areas around Mt. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Any USDA Zone. Depending on what you pair zebra grass with, it can have an exotic, tropical look and is striking planted near broad-leafed tropical plants with colorful flowers such as canna, ginger, hibiscus,​ and plumeria. Seed and Feed. This ornamental grass is admired for its fall- and winter-blooming pink flowers or featherlike plumes. For areas where you intend to walk, look for creeping varieties like Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’ or wooly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus). Unlike lawn or turfgrass varieties, ornamental grasses are meant to grow—not be cut or mown—and most are not used as ground covers. Like most flowers and grass you're meadow plants will grow best in an open, sunny, non shaded position in your garden. Dear Wren and Family: Thank you so much for sharing this part of your lives with others. Well, not as low … When planting a lawn, the more you work with the grass seed’s natural cycle, the easier it will be to make your grass grow. This guide will teach you how to grow grass in your lawn and fill in empty patches for a lush, green landscape in just a few steps. It is also deer-resistant and is drought-tolerant once established. They still mowed it when needed to keep it from growing too tall, but when it came time for a middle-school wildflower collection project, I found 15 of the 20 specimens required from my own backyard!